Sunday, February 5, 2006

On the Waterfront; The Fortune Cookie

Despite the fact that I should not like him, that he named names, I think Elia Kazan is amazing (not as a person, of course, but as an artist). And I think these distinctions are important to make, that a person might be a little disturbing, but you have to keep that distinct from your reading of their art. I am thinking of Woody Allen, of Michael Jackson, of Roman Polanski, and of Kazan.

Apparently, this movie can be read as Kazan commenting on his difficulty in naming names, having Brando's character having to wrestle with whether or not to testify against his associates. However, Kazan has said that was not his intention at all. There is amazing scene after amazing scene in this movie. That glove scene, which apparently was accidental, is so good. From the commentary, I learned that Eva Maria Saint dropped her glove in that shot and Brando, the consummate Method actor, picked it up and put it on his hand. Kazan said the only thing he had to do with that, was to have the genius not to yell cut, to keep the cameras rolling.

Somehow, I feel a little better about my laziness so long as what I am watching is in black and white, that watching stuff in color is just a little too close to the world around me, too close to the world I am not interacting with.

And so, with glee, because it was in black and white and because it was directed by Billy Wilder, I watched The Fortune Cookie on 13 last night. I really love the Saturday night movies they play on 13. They are really crisp and usually presented in widescreen, commercial free. And, they are movies that I am glad for having watched but probably never would have rented on my own at the video store. Walter Matthau is amazing in this movie as an ambulance chasing lawyer. For a movie that I haven't heard that much about, I like this movie a lot, a lot more than Wilder's The Seven Year Itch, also seen on 13 a while ago. 13 is Wilder crazy. I have seen four Wilder movies on 13.

I would talk about my life, except I don't have one right now. That's okay. I've got books and Law and Order and a never ending stream of frozen pizzas pilfered from Key Food, and of course, those friends of bored boys from coast to coast: a dirty mind, eager hands, and a door that locks.

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